Aleksandr Gabyshev, a member of Russia’s far eastern Yakut ethnic group and a practitioner of Siberian shamanism, has been indefinitely confined to a mental institution after losing an appeal in Russian courts in late September. The sentence comes after Gabyshev’s repeated arrests for opposing Russian President Vladimir Putin, beginning with his attempt in 2019 to march from Yakutsk in eastern Siberia to Moscow, where, he claimed, he would use his self-proclaimed shamanic powers to “purge” Putin from power.
During a rally that drew hundreds in Chita, near the Mongolian border, Gabyshev claimed that “God told me that Putin is not human but a demon and has ordered me to drive him out.”
After a march of nearly two thousand miles, a third of the way to his goal, Gabyshev was arrested by Russian state police.
After being confined to a mental institution for several months and released, he was arrested again by Russian authorities in May 2020 after posting a video of himself performing a ceremonial shamanic drum dance with the declaration, “Very soon you all will break out to freedom.”
In January 2021, shortly after he announced another march on Moscow, fifty members of the state security services raided Gabyshev’s home in Yakutsk and once again sent him off to the mental hospital.
SOURCE: "Religion News Service"